Jinnah and the state of Kalat

Friday, June 13th, 2014 6:07:44 by

State functionaries have responsibilities and obligations towards citizens. However, the ruled should choose the ruler but now the ruler rules with prejudice, favouritism and disparity. The facts categorise each and every individual of the state to be evaluated by how influential and rich the person is. The general public is, therefore, quite sceptical about any positive change to come soon.

There is need for a turnaround before the state reaches a point where it becomes absolutely dysfunctional and comes to a point of no return. The chief characteristic of a dysfunctional state can be described as one where there is cognisable ‘growth’, but unfortunately, the growth is in corruption, ineffectiveness or paralysis of the administrative, legal, extractive and coercive institutions.

The Balochistan province is a front runner in this aspect where the policy of the British East India Company is still being followed since they first took Bolan and Quetta on lease in 1876 from the State of Kalat. One of the main factors was patronising the sardars but unfortunately this strategy has very badly backfired, with the province now embroiled in disarray and being vulnerable to terrorism, backwardness and nepotism. This country was made for the people, by the people and belongs to the people. But even after 67 years of independence, democracy is still in its infancy and has not been allowed to mature.

A fateful meeting happened in 1928 when all the Indian leaders were invited for the Unity Conference while Jinnah was in London. The amendments proposed by the Muslim League for separate reserved seats in the legislatures for Muslim minorities were ignored. Much later, around 1938, Jinnah spoke significantly of the Muslim ‘nation’ that would emerge from the struggle with the majority community (Hindus).

In March 1940, at Lahore, the All-India Muslim League passed the historic Pakistan Resolution calling for the divorce of the Muslim-majority provinces from the rest of India, which would then be fused together as a separate nation. This Pakistan Resolution was the foundation of Pakistan and is engraved in the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore. But unfortunately, it has lost its sanctity and now only remains a souvenir. None of the clauses form part of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The sacrifices for Pakistan were not just made by those people who migrated from India. Those who accepted them with an open heart, welcomed them, rehabilitated them and accepted their language as the common language in the newly-formed state of Pakistan made sacrifices of an equal measure.

Jinnah had a dream and a very clear concept of what Pakistan was supposed to be. His dream so profusely communicated in his various speeches was eventually abandoned. He was a man of stature and principles and when the British, at the behest of Nehru, made him decline the agreement that he had made with the Khan of Kalat and the Kalat State, the Quaid became very upset. Nehru’s contention was that if this agreement between Pakistan and Kalat State was implemented, then all the princely states in India would want a similar mode of accession. The dejection and disappointment led the Quaid to spend the last few days of his life at the Ziarat Residency in Balochistan where he breathed his last.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2014.

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